Jerell A. Blakeley, At Large
From an early age, Jerell has committed himself to public service and education.
A Class of 2005 graduate of Trenton Central High School, the Princeton University Preparatory Program and a fourth generation Trentonian, Councilman Jerell Blakeley attended Howard University in Washington D.C. with the help of the Trenton Rotary Club, United Negro College Fund and an institutional scholarship, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History with minors in Political Science and Sociology. While at Howard, Jerell interned with the Secretaries of HUD and the Interior and the White House Initiative on HBCUs. He served as a Social Studies Teacher at his high school alma mater where he led efforts to bring Leadership Civics to the Trenton Public Schools, an innovative civics course designed by the NJ Citizen’s Campaign and also taught English at the Upward Bound TRIO program at Mercer County Community College.
Councilman Blakeley led efforts to enhance school facility quality in NJ’s public schools as the Senior Campaign Organizer of the Healthy Schools Now coalition at the New Jersey Work Environment Council, the nation’s oldest state labor/environmental (or “blue/green”) coalition. At Healthy Schools Now, Councilman Blakeley more than tripled the number of coalition partners and founded the Healthy Schools Now Student Leadership Academy. In 2019, Jerell was appointed by NJ Governor Phil Murphy as a Division Chief of Outreach and Constituent Relations at the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development where he led public education efforts for nationally recognized enhancements in NJ’s family, sick and temporary disability leave laws.
Presently, Jerell is an Associate Director of Government Relations for the New Jersey Education Association, serves as a Lecturer at Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations and is in his first term as a Trenton City Councilman-at-Large. Councilman Blakeley is an alumnus of Rutgers University-New Brunswick’s Graduate School of Education, where he earned an Ed.M. in the Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education as an Eagleton Institute of Politics Fellow. A 2016 Fellow of the New Leaders Council-NJ, Councilman Blakeley is a member of the Metropolitan Trenton chapter of the Howard University Alumni Association, the Trenton chapter of the NAACP, the Young Elected Official Network, serves as the Labor chairman of the NJ chapter of the Democratic Municipal Officials organization, and is an active brother of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated.
Formerly a member of the New Jersey Education Association and the United Steelworkers unions, Councilman Blakeley presently is a member of the New Jersey United Staff Association and the American Association of University Professors. A labor advocate, Councilman Blakeley previously was a member of the Mercer County Central Labor Council Honored by the Trenton branches of the NAACP and Zeta Phi Beta for his public and community service, Councilman Blakeley was named by noted publication Black Enterprise as a Modern Man 100 and has been identified by the Insider NJ publication as a rising young leader in New Jersey state politics. In addition to his public service on city council, Councilman Blakeley is serving his second term on the Mercer County Board of Social Services and formerly served on the boards of the Mercer County Workforce Investment Board, the Children’s Home Society of NJ and UIH Family Partners.